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Rare strains of corn, beans, squash and other native crops might have been lost forever if not for the protection efforts of the Potawatomi and Ojibwe tribes and the Jijak Foundation in Hopkins, Michigan.

Thanks to the salvation efforts of these tribes and a seed-lending library, native foods are making a comeback and being used in traditional ceremonies.

In Hopkins, Michigan, Native Americans of the Pottawatomi and Ojibwe tribes are bringing rare strains of vegetables back from the dead. This video from Great Big Story explains how traditional crops that were on the verge of extinction are now thriving.

Farmers are receiving help from the Jijak Foundation, which describes itself as "nonprofit organization of the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi Indians dedicated to enriching our community through education, preservation, and perpetuation of our Tribe's rich culture, arts, history, and living traditions." The foundation's seed-lending library is at the center of the comeback story. Take a certain strain of white corn, for example:


"Four years ago ... we only had a half-a-canning jar, a very small amount of seed," the Jijak Foundation's Kevin Finney says in the video. "We've grown it every year since, and now we have enough that we may have a hundred bushels full. That's enough that, next year, we could plant six or seven acres of just this corn."

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